Inside Emmerdale Lucy Pargeter’s life off screen including heartbreaking split

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Lucy Pargeter first appeared on screens back in 2002, and has remained a staple to our weeknight viewings ever since.

The actress has played the role of fiery landlady Chas Dingle on ITV soap Emmerdale for 19 years, with the character finding herself at the centre of several hard-hitting storylines over the years.

Lucy’s acting talents haven’t gone unnoticed, with the soap star winning several awards during her years on Emmerdale, and regularly being praised for her portrayal of Chas.

However, it turns out acting wasn’t Lucy’s first choice of career, and she had her sights set firmly on pop stardom initially.

Here we take a look at the star’s life away from the cameras…

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Emmerdale star Lucy Pargeter had a career in music before landing her soap role
Emmerdale star Lucy Pargeter had a career in music before landing her soap role
(Image: 2013 Getty Images)

Lucy, 44, was born in Nottingham and studied at both Central Junior Television Workshop and New College.

Her first brush with fame was as a member of girlband Paperdolls in the ’90s, alongside Hollie Johnson and Debbie Cresswell.

During their most successful time they toured with Boyzone, and released a debut single titled Gonna Make You Blush in 1998.

Lucy has previously spoken fondly of her time as part of Paperdolls, telling Woman magazine: “It was a laugh. We went from thinking we were just a few girls getting together and doing a few songs, to getting signed by a record label and touring. It was a great time.”

Lucy with her Paper Dolls bandmates Hollie Johnson and Debbie Cresswell back in 2001
Lucy with her Paper Dolls bandmates Hollie Johnson and Debbie Cresswell back in 2001
(Image: Getty)

The band eventually split up, and Lucy began to pursue a career in acting. She first appeared in drama series Soldier Soldier, Dalziel and Pascoe, and then starred in the film Anita and Me as Brenda.

Lucy was cast as Helen Raven in soap opera Crossroads in 2001, before landing her big break on Emmerdale when she landed the role of Chas Dingle in 2002.

Despite her successful stint in soap land, Lucy has previously confessed to not watching soaps herself. She told What’s On TV: “I don’t even watch Emmerdale, to be quite honest with you. I record it, but I don’t watch it.

“We work until eight, so when you get home it is half past eight. I don’t watch any soaps, how awful is that?!”

In 2019 she won the Best Actress award at The British Soap Awards, and was also nominated for Best Female Dramatic Performance and Best On-Screen Partnership with co-star Dominic Brunt.

Lucy is best known for portraying landlady Chas Dingle
Lucy is best known for portraying landlady Chas Dingle
(Image: ITV)

Away from the drama of Emmerdale, Lucy has pursued various other ventures.

Back in 2006, she returned to her pop star roots and took part in the singing competition Soapstar Superstar, finishing in third place. She then appeared in Stars in Their Eyes as Spice Girls star Emma Bunton.

Lucy also finished third on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2013, and in 2019 she appeared on a celebrity edition of The Chase, where she won £5,000 for charity Safe at Last.

Away from the world of celebrity, Lucy has three children with former partner Rudi Coleano. She welcomed her first child in 2005, a daughter named Lola.

Lucy and Rudi then welcomed twin daughters in 2017, Besty and Missy, who were conceived via IVF.

She and Rudi Coleano split in 2019
She and Rudi Coleano split in 2019

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The actress was open about her IVF journey, appearing on shows such as This Morning to detail the experience.

She previously opened up to OK! following the twins’ birth, where she revealed that all of her children had actually been conceived via IVF.

She said: “Having IVF was hard but we feel so lucky the girls have come along. I think it’s important to be honest about everything to do with how they got here.”

Lucy and Rudi announced their separation in 2019, after 12 years together. A formal statement was issued regarding the split, which read: “Lucy Pargeter has confirmed she has separated from her long-term partner, Rudi Coleano, and, while no longer together, their main priority is raising their three daughters.”

Emmerdale continues on weekdays at 7pm on ITV.

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